How can health IT/HIE assist in the development of immunization information systems?
Immunization information systems (i.e., immunization registries) are confidential, population-based, computerized systems for maintaining information regarding children's vaccinations. These systems include the majority of children in a geographic area. Names can be entered into the registry at birth (e.g., through a link with electronic birth records) or at first contact with the health care system, similar to Colorado. Registries enable implementing vaccination strategies. For example, recommendations for hepatitis B vaccination have evolved into a comprehensive strategy to eliminate Hepatitis B Virus transmission in the United States.
Traditional registry development relied heavily on a manual process for extracting data, transforming that data and loading it into large central data repositories. These manual processes were time consuming and subject to errors. Today, with the effective use of health IT, the process of populating and updating an immunization registry is largely automatic. For example, public and private providers can submit current information directly to the registries. The development of registry standards and the addressing of privacy and security issues enabled advances in the automation of registry data by allowing providers and parents to feel more comfortable with submitting the information directly to a central registry.
Information from immunization information systems can be accessible to providers and others involved in care delivery and coordination through a variety of Web-based systems. States and cities are using health IT to create immunization registries to improve the rate of immunized children and allow parents/guardians to obtain a current record of immunizations or reminders for when immunizations are due.
Public health departments can use central immunization registries to identify children who are at risk in the event of a disease outbreak or other emergency. Additionally, immunization registries are used for conducting public health surveillance for program assessment and evaluation.
The following links provide background reading on immunization registries and how to create immunization registries and information systems:
Below are tools that can be used to create and manage immunization information systems, such as implementation guides and data sharing agreements:
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